A SOFT blue cheese crafted by a family-run North Yorkshire business has picked up a Super Gold award at this year’s World Cheese Awards.

The award winning Harrogate Blue was the first cheese launched by Katie Matten and Caroline Bell after taking over the running of Shepherds Purse from mum and founder Judy Bell in 2012.

The cheese was also included on the top table of the best 16 cheeses at the event from more than 3000 entries. It was named Harrogate Blue after the town which Caroline now calls home.

The prize was awarded at the World Cheese Awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, which this year celebrated its 30th anniversary and took place at London’s Tobacco Dock as part of a collaboration with Taste of London.

Shepherds Purse competed against more than 3000 cheeses from 35 countries around the world and was judged by an esteemed panel of famous faces from the world of cheese.

Harrogate Blue wasn’t the only Shepherds Purse winner at the cheese industry’s Oscars, the dairy also picked up two Gold awards for Mrs Bell’s Blue; a Gold for Bluemin White and a Silver for Yorkshire Blue.

Caroline Bell, director at Shepherds Purse Cheeses said: “Katie and I are absolutely thrilled to win Super Gold for Harrogate Blue at this year’s World Cheese Awards.

“I’m so proud of my sister for developing the cheese and it’s been a favourite since it’s launch. It was such an honour to hear the judge’s comments as Harrogate Blue was judged as one of the top 16 cheeses in the world by a panel of esteemed judges.

“To win Super Gold, 3 Golds and a Silver is a tribute to the consistent world-class quality of our handmade cheeses and the passion from our team.”